Making the Grades
Director James Cameron seems to have caught some sort of ocean bug during his work on the epic movie The Titanic, because since that time most of his filmmaking endeavors have involved underwater excursions. I suspect his brother Mike's invention of a robotic submarine have also added to the obsessive ailment, which has resulted in some spectacular documentaries, like this one.
Aliens of the Deep looks at the amazing animals forms living in an environment devoid of light and air, then asks: If life can thrive here, where else might we find it in the Universe?
It's a thought-provoking question worthy of exploration. And now, thanks to the many miracles of modern technology, anyone with a DVD player can join Cameron and a crew of accomplished scientists in searching for the answers (or at least some fascinating theories).
Coordinating a dive of four submarines dropping thousands of feet below the surface of the Atlantic and Pacific requires great skill and creative problem solving. As the team descends, much of the varied creatures and landscapes they observe are completely new to them, despite their respective expertise in a broad range of scientific disciplines. Perhaps the same may be said for some of the marine dwellers they disturb, because a few of the more inquisitive types come over to investigate the humans' bright lights and fancy machinery.
Comparing the mostly unexplored depths of the sea with the alien enormity of the solar system, the researchers explain how they can apply what they are learning here to future space missions. The production mixes underwater footage, space photos and computer graphics to enhance that message.
For viewers, the voyage is one of discovery as well as an increased desire to "seek out new worlds and boldly go where no man has gone before." Watching a documentary like this may be the perfect way to whet your child's appetite for the exciting search for life and knowledge -- both here on earth and in the vast expanses above.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Aliens of the Deep.
In the documentary, James Cameron asks some of the scientists if they would be willing to give up ten years of their life for an opportunity to explore space. How would you answer that question?